Introduction Sample Thinkific Courses
If you are currently selling Or considering selling online courses, you don’t need to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Sample Thinkific Courses
- More than 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell education (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing online class platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and exploring online class platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling classes
I’ve been Monitoring Thinkific and other suppliers which have emerged within the past several years as a new class of online course platforms. These are programs that are less costly and a lot more user-friendly than learning management systems, or LMSes. They are tiny businesses that want to get into the online course enterprise and a real blessing for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I think they also have real potential to interrupt the conventional learning management system marketplace.
Having said All that, let us begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that someplace provides an attractive, user friendly to your students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capacities this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Sample Thinkific Courses
Using Site Builder — that is only a part of the admin panel to the stage — you now have the ability to prepare an appealing home page for your course website and make as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to provide information about you and your other services). While you do not have total control — you can not, for example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get really good capabilities for changing branding elements like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any type of images or media you’d want to utilize.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are variants for each one of those topics. (The company says more themes are a part of the upcoming development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” you can insert and change on any page to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all the critical tools you require for conducting a successful path or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section which may be used to make pretty much anything you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took me a while to figure out how to do some basic things like delete segments (the themes offer a house page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. But service has been readily available for these. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you can look for aid, but I tend to only use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific website or from a different user.
Some additional Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid plan (beginning at $49 a month for Basic) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White labeling (below Settings > Site)– By leaping up into a Guru Plan ($99 per month) with the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and various different areas) — You can change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the tag for portions of a course. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons” Sample Thinkific Courses
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and do not have an Internet presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a great way to have a huge item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to find a decent Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launching your classes. You can be concerned about a more complicated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, however — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) for your primary Internet site. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a fantastic course website to complement your main Web site — but ultimately it’s relatively restricted. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All themes are single pillar. Therefore, as an example, you can’t put e-mail signup forms, promotions for course, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation in the event that you really want to mirror the branding of an existing Web website.
- There’s no control over search engine optimization configurations on Web pages — e.g., you can’t define the title tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do so on course landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins and the extensive network of seasoned contractors that are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of those Limitations, Site Builder is likely to do the work well for many edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what many online class platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the classes themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates that may be quite useful to course builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to consider for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your course to match your particular program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to create prospects for a full flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a complete online class employing a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to gauge interest on your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to generate earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership package for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can alter the content from the segments which are supplied, delete sections, or add new sections to arrive at the approach that is ideal for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course building tips” to help you. (I found them useful, but they may be easily switched off, should you prefer.) Sample Thinkific Courses
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a small learning curve, but my opinion is that Thinkific has done a fantastic job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your it up, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And, in case you are Comfortable using other Internet content programs — such as, for example, WordPress or another course platform — I think you will find operating in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall A class at Thinkific makes sense in my perspective. After choosing”New Course,” picking your path type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to create the structure of the program. As mentioned above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to the way I described using Website Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a movie file. (This gets saved in a movie library for re-use in other courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your website.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for your students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia classes — This is a way to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the link to some live Zoom session, by Way of Example )
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate documents (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder option mentioned above.
- Research lessons — Gather by building a brief survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Upload a PDF file to be looked at within the program participant.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources.
- Demo lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Exam lessons — Contain a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 per month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned options Will get the work completed for all but the edupreneurs. The main places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances in the course or information you collect about them — and
- Like studying games, Adding interactive elements.
If those are Choices you truly need, you would be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of programs here). Sample Thinkific Courses
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to create courses, but some might prefer the option of creating their classes with third party e-learning course creation software like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) already have a substantial number of classes built out in one of these applications (in which you probably do not need to need to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a substantial catalog of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not want to have your classes locked to a specific delivery platform.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its own class) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an internet course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it data like how much time a learner has spent in a program, or if particular parts of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this type of data using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
Second, you cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific all on your own. These courses are made up of more than one file (like, as an example, a video file), and to get them inside the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course building platform typically offers you the features you need from begin to finish. Including also the management, the marketing, the selling, and also the course building.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host classes . Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to venture out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you complete control over what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and management. Let us explore some of the standout features.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, with pictures of your pupils, names, contact information, and details for how far they are on your course.
You have the Option create a dialogue or to send emails. Sample Thinkific Courses
Incentives are Also part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and needless to say, the emails for sending out just about anything you want during classes.
In addition to Replays of speech controls, course content, and cellular optimization working with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of this Reason Thinkific seems great in contrast to the rivalry is that of its class designer. In case you don’t want to you don’t need to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is organized with a drag and drop editor, in which you move it around and stack the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media forms. From PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a wide range of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not need to worry being too large or running slowly in your own servers that are shared.
When you customize Your course website it offers some editing tools for the novices on the market. You can adjust items such as colour schemes, banners, and logos, without touching any code.
However Advanced developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your website unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way.
Thinkific does The program was built into by it the right way, with marketing and promotional tools. A lot of this is automated also. So, if you want to drip articles to your students Thinkific has this operation. Sample Thinkific Courses
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send out automated emails based on a schedule. Pricing can be also done through Thinkific, along with the choice to become paid immediately when someone signs up for your course.
As for becoming It is tried by people outside of your website out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to benefit other people who recommend your course and bloggers. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving you a chance to create ads with specials and convince newcomers that your course is well worth investing in.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is tracked right in the dashboard, and you could also join your Adwords, Facebook, and other social accounts where students are coming from to see.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to produce your courses, one of the important reasons for using a technical class platform is that it makes tracking and handling your users and their data much simpler.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to arrange your students, Thinkific also enables several ways for you and your students to communicate and for them to provide comments. Sample Thinkific Courses
As previously noted, By way of example, you can empower discussion to your courses and then manage your students contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, respond to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t wish to appear in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is currently a nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have it or no classes have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Enable your student. Then you have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not published automatically) and use them as social evidence on your earnings page for your program. Unlike discussions, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are Numerous notifications that could be disabled or enabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You register in a course can send a message when they register for your website to students, or complete a course. It is also possible to send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up in your website, Thinkific captures all their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to capture whatever special information you want from the users. (Notice that, unlike programs like Udemy, you receive full access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This feature can have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to sell courses in bulk to associations — among the best ways for internet course vendors to induce revenue development .
You, classes May also easily arrange your learners by organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, or other factors, making it possible to track the efficacy of your offerings and to refine your marketing going forward. (Note: use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru program license with the Development Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups performance Sample Thinkific Courses
Tracking and Reporting
A key reason to Have a specialized online class platform — to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site, instead, by way of instance — is that it will track things like path progress and completion in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a specific student and track numerous variables for each course in which the pupil is registered. For each class you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign in (date)
I like that you If you are adding new classes to an already finished course May opt to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment, for example.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather basic, but I guess it will serve the demands of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV document (instead of displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv document contains the responses from all students if they shot it, and who have taken a survey a quiz e-mail address, along with their title. For quizzes, in addition, it provides the amount and percent of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the main areas where the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much of most the platforms . Ideally, over time, it would be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion . Better still, it might be good to have the ability to see a student transcript that displays hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way in Thinkific), along with a URL to download the certificate related to the course. Sample Thinkific Courses
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the past few decades (as I have) will realize that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a really reasonable price. It wasn’t long ago a system with these capabilities may have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It is really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are gaps which will rule out it and these all tend to be gaps that are characteristic of the class of platforms. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in shared authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. In case you’ve got a strong and valid reason for using one of the major standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas which are not served by programs that are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform which supports all three generally means a price point three to four times higher than Thinkific — and it can go a lot from there up. So, be sure these are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of continuing education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Sample Thinkific Courses
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and manage a number of instances of a stage under one umbrella. This can be really useful if, for instance, you are a training company with many clients and those clients want their own instance of this platform for serving and managing their own customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it is not the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To find an internet course platform which has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That is very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a program that is free for those who want to test the stage but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start building a student base without having to pay a dime and start your store. There is also a free trial if you’d rather give one of the more innovative plans a whirl.
The pricing is Divided into four easy plans:
Starter — $0 to many core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a top 10% transaction fee, all you need to make, promote, and market content hosting courses, course upsells, your courses, fundamental integrations, Stripe/PayPal support, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you get all center and starter features, together with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course bundles, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, custom domain, and extra course prices. Sample Thinkific Courses
Business — For $99 per month you get the features from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and hidden courses, website white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from prior plans, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding bundle, people API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great benefits to its pricing layout. Not only are you able to begin your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the additional 3 programs are broken down into a logical fashion.
After all, you Most probably don’t need API accessibility until you start getting advanced with your path promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the HTML editing and the completion certificates in the Essentials plan, however $99 per month is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% to the plan. That is high, but it creates an environment for individuals who don’t have the upfront funds to launch a professional online store or anyone with low quantity right now. Once you get started making money you can cut down that transaction fee.
You can By paying an yearly basis Save money. The snowball strategy goes to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business program is $79 a month and the Advanced program is $219. That makes the pricing programs quite similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review at which I started: this is. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it supplies a complete range of the features that are essential to support your average edupreneur.
I think it is Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a lot of momentum. This is certainly not a point: the marketplace for online course platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot of the platforms that are here now is going to undoubtedly be gone. I’m convinced that Thinkific will be around, and the organization is obviously growing and always investing to boost its own platform. Sample Thinkific Courses